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I Write, Sometimes I Muse

Recollections, Reviews, Research & Rants

Welcome to my blog space. These posts are largely random thoughts, bits of research, some reviews and updates on work in the pipeline. If you subscribe to my modest newsletter, you’ll only be contacted when I have a new publication to announce. Comments are welcome but if I decide you’re obnoxious, you’ll be moderated into the trash. So, now that the obligatory disclaimer is done, let me add that I’m happy you’re here and look forward to sharing the writing journey.

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Aurealis #109 is out – and I’m in!

I'm excited to share the news that "Painted Ocean" has just come out in Australia's premier SF&F magazine, Aurealis issue #109. This story has a lot of personal history. If you're interested, you can read a bit about it here (there are spoilers, so if you don't...

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A long time in the making …

Or, how a friendly enquiry elicited a long rant about how "Painted Ocean" came to be and how it found a happy home with Aurealis, Australia's premier fantasy and science fiction magazine. "Painted Ocean" will be published in April 2018, issue #109 Waaay back when in...

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Own this Space

I recently came across the Japanese term "Ikigai" which is a rather lovely concept with definitions ranging from "a reason to get up in the morning" to the more poetic "allowing the self's possibilities to blossom". It got me thinking about the spaces that I occupy...

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Goodbye, dear friend

Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is so very hard and today we said farewell to a darling boy, a much loved part of our family. Neo came to live with us when he was nine years old in 2013. He came from a loving home but he really didn't like it when his mum went off to...

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Writing, Workshops & Tomorrows

Progress! I have a story. It's really, really short but it's complete; a rounded sort of story that doesn't occur to me that often. "The Stone Disciple" came out of a workshop weekend (which I will write more about in due course when I have time) and represents the...

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Harassment and the angry woman

There was a series of Twitter posts today that recounted the story of a person, having boarded a train, sat down and started to read from her phone. Another passenger comes up, "Hey, baby...". She doesn't engage, just gets up and moves. Unfortunately, the asshole...

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Notes to Self: The Writing Reboot

What does it really mean to 're-start' a creative journey? If like me, you've thrown yourself into the deep end and sunk, more than once, there's likely to be a great big question mark against trying again. After many years, I've finally come to realise that this damn...

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Story, Wonder and Free Verse

To be an independent publisher means you are, by nature, willing to take risks and aware that, for most of the time, you'll be hauling a heavy load by yourself. Dario Ciriello created Panverse Publishing because he is at heart an explorer, and what he was seeing in...

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A Hospital Bed at Home – stories of love, life and death

Janene Carey's "A Hospital Bed at Home" is a collection of six personal accounts of caregiving from diagnoses to death. Together, these stories blend into an insightful, heart-felt narrative and provide a window into the lives of every-day Australians who found...

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One thing, and make it happy

I decided to pull myself out of the funk left over from last year. I'm not going into any details: if I do, I'll never get on with it. So, moving forward! My resolution is to do one thing every day that makes me happy, excited - passionate - and just plain thrilled....

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Channel Zilch – My Type of Crazy

"Birdy, birdy in the sky, Why'd you do that in my eye? Aren't you glad that cows don't fly?" Steal the Space Shuttle Enterprise, refit and launch her into space - all for a reality TV show? It takes a mad sort of brilliance to even think of this, let alone write a...

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The Z Radiant – Radiantly Nuanced

The world of Nentesh is isolated from the rest of the galactic community through an anomaly of space-time. Once every 26 years, there is "Ingress", a wormhole that enables contact between the Nenteshi people and Outsystemers: contact that heralds a time for festival,...

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Review: Douglas Lain’s “Billy Moon”

  Part One: In which Douglas Lain's debut novel "Billy Moon" introduces alternate realities, and Christopher Robin fails to escape his stuffed animals.  "I'd like to meet Christopher Robin," my daughter once told me. She was four years old and -- as it happened...

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Circle of Bones: a review

Ah! Sea, sailing ... and yum, some of that too, and an author who -- while she's been published for many years -- is a recent discovery for me. Christine Kling writes boating adventures and she knows her stuff. This is not just someone who sets her stories on the...

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Review: Daughter of Hope

Late last year, while scrolling down my Facebook feed, my attention was caught by this image: The post appeared in my feed via a mutual friend, Dario Ciriello, of Panverse Publishing. I was enchanted, and said so. In a nutshell, this is how I "met" Joanna Fay, who...

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Creativity, at the cross-roads

This is not the post that I intended to write. I set out to share something entirely different; elucidating gems of data I've gathered and rather niftily entitled "Imaginary weapons, and the search for unobtainium". It was going to be fun. It was going to rock....

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Crises of confidence: the de-valuing of reviews

Once upon a time and long, long ago, I was a career marketer (picture a very serious young woman, intent on pursuing "success"--that amorphous grail that appears in so many different guises). I have circumnavigated Sol many times since those heady days and I am...

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Opening Day: a tale of two dreams

The arrival of our Calvert Homeschool box is always a big event, as every Calvert family will attest to. It's usually a day when everything else gets put aside so we can all dig through the goodies. Katie is an old hand at Opening Day -- always quick to arm herself...

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The Devil of Light: Indie book review

This is the first instalment in what promises to be an intriguing thriller/mystery/detective series set in and around Arcadia, Texas. There's no paranormal twist to this story - yet. Author, Gae-Lynn Woods, does tweak the surface of the character "Hitch"--a psychopath...

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Mind, Matter and “Machine”: a review

I'm a big fan of transhumanist fiction. Give me feathers, fur, gills, immortality, extra feel-good bits, mechanical cool and/or animal senses any time - I like 'em all. In other words, it wasn't just the lovely cover that pre-disposed me to enjoy Machine, (although I...

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Inspired, Empowered: great words, simple choice

Today, I was inspired. It's a wonderful thing, to feel thus, and I want to celebrate it.  Marti McKenna is a writer, editor and blogger. I've never met the lady but today we connected in a very important way. I admire her: she took the words "Be the change you want to...

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Goodbye blues: an ode to Santa

I took a deep breath - sometime around the middle of December last year - and have finally let it out. Phew!  I have an end-of-year allergy:  I just don't do the 'season to be jolly' thing very well and my funk is, by now, traditional. Despite this, I have an eight...

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NaNoWriMo, a not-quite novel breakthrough

November draws to a close and I must haul myself out from The Zone and take a look at what I've achieved. Well, I'm not a winner. That 50,000 word count was a summit I couldn't reach. On the other hand, a month's worth of wordcount has left me with the barebones of a...

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Zen and the art of NaNoWriMo

Three days into November and nearly eight-thousand words done and edited. This is may be a track record for me. Something is in the air. If this year's NaNoWriMo serves to identify only one key personal motivating factor - if there's a special ingredient X to be had,...

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Remixing the Meme: novels, promises and ghosts

As I prepare for next month's NaNoWriMo, I find myself suffering from commitment jitters. I am, after all, a short-story writer and have been since, well, forever. The truth is, I've been diligently avoiding the novel form not because I lacked ideas but because I had...

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Time, and the one-day writing workshop

I've often thought that J.K. Rowling's invention of the Time Turner, (a handy hour-by-hour time travel device),  was inspired by the obvious lack of enough hours in the day. I could really do with one of those right now (what a shame they were all destroyed). My...

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To The Power Of: The Aegean Dream

I recall being very excited for my friends Dario and Linda,  (I met Dario in 2002 at Clarion West Writers' Workshop and we've been buddies ever since), when they decided to chart a tangential course in life, leaving their professional careers in the US to pursue  an...

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The Uncharted Muse

I hate losing the plot. Even when I've planned/mapped/charted and sometimes even illustrated my character's conflict-laden steps to her epiphany, she still manages to wander off-course. How could she DO that to me? What invisible tides are at work in my subconscious,...

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Indie Publishing and the One-Hand Kōan

Having made the decision to post my stories directly to an aggregate distributor (Smashwords), instead of the traditional magazine and publishing channels - for reasons outlined in 'Infrequently Asked Questions' - I found myself doing what I've not done in a very,...

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Love’s Language Lost

When Katie was about three years old, we took a rare car trip. It was too windy for her and she asked me to “launch” the window. (We had just put our boat back into the water and she’d been hearing that word quite a lot. Her use of it in this context was an excellent...

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Commence Brain Upload

I've finally decided to go the e-publishing route and suddenly find myself slip, sliding and scrabbling along yet another steep learning curve.  I'm very happy to have Exhalation and Sleeping Dragons up on Smashwords. Small steps, but gratifying. The list of stories...

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It’s all make-believe

In the 'real' world, I occupy a space belonging to a person called Lynette Aspey. I'm happily married to a big, burly, lovely bloke called Steve. I have a beautiful daughter who is my treasure. We live cheek-by-jowl on a rusty sailboat that exists in its own weird...

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